Category Archives: Shopping

Favourite green places in Vancouver

Earth day…like as opposed to Seceratary’s Day or Mother’s Day? I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of  “days.” Holidays are one thing but random days that hardly anybody knows about until it’s all over CNN as you sit there with your morning coffee feeling like crap because it’s not fair trade just seems a little easy. Especially for a topic like the earth, which is of paramount importance every day (and indicative in every choice you make from that second latte in the to-go cup at the coffee stand to the time you get in your car and drive yourself home). I could go on, but I won’t. All I know for sure (to steal a line from Oprah, who is curiously silent on subject of green) is that I have started making shifts in my day-to-day life that not only make me worthy of an Earth day button but actually feel very right. Looking to see where my produce was grown (Chile? too far! BC? I’ll take it!).  Buying organic pillows so that my husband can sleep through the night without severe allergies. The simple act of bringing reusable bags to the grocery store.  I like all of it. I know there is so much more my family can do and we are definitely growing in that direction – not just for one day, but one day at a time.

M Smart Designhttp://www.m-smartdesign.com/ Not only is this store dedicated to carrying organic products, but the owner is passionately knowledgable about everything she sells. Watch for this stores’ upcoming move from Park Royal to the edge of the newly fashioned design row on Beatty Street (also home to Chambar and Provide). Re-opens May 31st at 163 W.Hastings St.

Trout Lake Farmer’s Market http://www.eatlocal.org/markets.html      All I can say is – is it May yet???? If you’re not in the East end, click through to find a farmer’s market near your neighbourhood, though by July, I don;t think there is a more festive or busy market than the one at Trout Lake.

Little Nest http://www.littlenest.ca  Though this place is best known for its “parent friendly” atmosphere, do not be scared away if you’re looking for somewhere to read the paper over organic fare. The free-range eggs are pumpkin organge and the organic multigrain bread is always fresh. Fair trade coffee makes it all go down nicely (friendly little visitors or not!). 1716 Charles Street on Commercial Drive

Be happy. Be Green.

Jen

Bon Weekend

 

I love when people email me to say they’re going to try one of the many champagnes we’ve dutifully tested here (ha!).

Just before the long weekend, I received a note from Kristin of BonBon Rose telling me she was off to pick up a bottle of Wolf Blass for her and her hubby! I was so excited we bought another one ourselves. It ended  up here:

Burying Champagne in the snow 

More on that later…

Kristin, along with her friend Megan, write on the heels of fashion deals, home design and the modern mama from their respective homes in Tampa, Florida and Washington D.C. They were kind enough to write a little post mentioning Champagne Wednesdays – not to mention sharing this great deal. Stop by and say hi!

Adventure Saturday: Fort Langley, BC

One year and 200 posts later, I celebrate my blog’s anniversary with a return to antiquing. You might recall last March when I came home with this champagne bucket from Mission. That seven dollar bucket still brings me great joy. It’s funny how far small wins can take us. I am glad I stuck with blogging – otherwise I wouldn’t have this circle to complete  and a few wonderful readers to complete it with. I really appreciate everyone who’s stopped by Champagne Wednesdays and I’ve especially loved when you’ve left your comments. I’m pretty certain a few bottles of bubbly have been cracked as a result- and that is the ultimate reward.

This March, we headed to Fort Langely, in part to peruse the Antique Mall, in part to go to the Fort Langely pub, and in part to try and ride the Albion Ferry before it closes forever this July. Here is what most Vancouverites know about the Albion Ferry: 7 to 10 sailing waits. You hear it everyday on the radio and it makes you really, really happy you don’t live outside of the Vancouver-core – at least that has been my experience.

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Unfortunately, Fort Langely was very rainy and very cold. So we cut short all the hustle and bustle of Fort-life, skipped the obligatory gelato, reminsced quickly about the days of yore and headed fairly directly to the pub. But even in our rush to be seated fireside with beer, we saw a few gems that are worth returning to on sunnier days:

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1) Coast Perrenials – a pretty little garden shop with every variety of well-marked herb you can think of at growers’ prices. Next to the hardware store.

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2) Summer house: a charming, weathered atilier with modern fashion and bohemian antiques. Perfect for finding the quintessential white summer dress.

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3) Admittedly hard-to-spot through a jungle of trinket-hell, a few fine antiques at good prices. This Medalta stone pot was a steal for $92.

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5) A little puppy love along the Fort to Fort trail linking Fort Langely to Derby Beach Regional Park. It’s not the prettiest trail but you can walk forever along a riverside path with no cars. What more can a dog-owner ask?      

6) And finally, the pub itself.  A pint of Rickard’s Red and a colourful meat draw between 1pm and 2pm. It’ll have you singing, I’ve been working on the railroad before you know it. I would stick to your standard beef dip, burger, french fries fare. I saw a shrimp melt. It wasn’t pretty.

Oh yeah…and there were hats!

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PS: We did not ride the Albion Ferry afterall. There was a long line-up.

Noted in the margins

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Perfect spot for blog strategizing with beer: Post Restaurant & Lounge, Seattle.

Patricia Gray, I am so glad you are from Vancouver. I am also glad you told me about these.  Spring picnics anyone?

And this snippet, from the poem Marginalia by Billy Collins and found on the blog Wide Open Spaces. It made laugh heartedly:

And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written “Man vs. Nature”
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

Good Husband – check.

Climbing on Santorini 

I am one of those lucky women who can say they married well. Very well.  Look how he saved me from falling over this steep and unruly cliff. 

Ok, maybe he didn’t save my life, but he made my life. Even better.

Today’s proof: a smorgasaboard of muffins delivered to my office (in-person) from Fratelli Bakery – the centre of all things good, Italian and buttery on Commercial Drive.

Thank you, love.

J

Ground Control to Vitamin V

This morning Vitamin V (or is it D now?) sent me my regular morning hit of spend-more-money, get-more-beautiful, we-are-fabulous. Given that I usually open their e-shout-out about 7:00am, on my way out of the shower, with a ratty towel twisted impossibly on top of my head and various creams covering various areas of concern on my face, I am usualy fairly receptive to their suggestions.

This morning, though, I emerged from the steam of my windowless bathroom….well….steaming. I sure hope they were halfway through a bottle of Cristal when they put together this list. Otherwise, it’s just cruel.

Vitamin AIG’s Spring-must-haves (you can view the actual items here):

  • Dress, $628
  • Dress, $555
  • Pullover, $338
  • Leather Jacket, $2,065
  • Boots, $360

Here’s what irked me most. They asked five Vancouver boutique owners to name their must-haves for spring. Fair-enough these would be pricey high-fashion items, after all, these are fashionable ladies. But editorially-speaking, would it not have made more sense to list the top 5 must-have items FROM Vancouver’s small business owners? Must-haves that willing disciples like me might actually be capable of running out and buying?

Now what am I supposed to wear?

Can you?

NYC Shirt

This gave me a good laugh today (via You are my Fave) in the way that true things are often the funniest.

True: Ash and I have made 2009 our year of NYCing.

Also true: Far trickier than making champagne-powered declarations is carrying out such resolutions without credit.

Yes, we’re on one of those miserable post-wedding cash diets. The kind of belt-tightening where you pretend Pellegriono is wine. Though, I guess the fact that we’re still buying Pellegrino is a sign of its own.

All I know for sure is that when one (or two, in this case) is poor, there must be music.

And movies starring Zooey Deschanel.

Or maybe both.

At once.

Cue: She & Him 

The Girl Likes…

Things this girl likes today:

The song, The Girl, by City and Colour (especially how it ends and then starts again faster and more feverously, as if to say he really means it the second time).

The owner of Provide Home, who welcomed me into his fabulous store yesterday with pleasant conversation and a Nespresso cappuccino.  Across from Chambar and Cafe Medina on Beatty Street, you really need to go see this store…I wanted everything! I still want everything. It’s one of those places you could happily linger away an afternoon.

Provide Home

Provide Home

And lastly, the view from my office window. Of which, there is no photo to show you. I can only try explaining how the snow is beginning to melt away, the mountains are blue again, the light is dull, but more importantly, there is light. Yes, I can see it, finally. An eye of sky just opened.

Soul…vaki

No, it’s not the remnants of our leftover Christmas Tree. It’s fresh dill. Found (in the off season) in those handy little plastic boxes near the bagged lettuces (which I never buy, except for the romaine hearts because romaine is a wild creature in its raw form and the crunchy hearts are the best part anyway).

And when the outside world looks like this:

rain in vancouver

It’s more important than ever to find ways to taste life (and I am talking literally here because I no longer have any interest in going outside).

So, go ahead and make this Dill and Chicken Soulvaki for dinner. After many consecutive weeks of homemade soups, we were both shocked at how alive and fresh this tasted. I even broke out the new mandolin, which is a genius invention for tricking husbands into thinking you’ve developed Top Chef worthy knife skills. Plus, when the cucumbers are all uniformly slippery and thin, they really soak up all that lemon juice, olive oil and salt (a brilliant combination, I must say. Like us).

Notes on recipe: I used a regular cucumber, grilled chicken just prior, had tortillas not flatbreads and absolutely recommend waiting until you have actual greek yogurt on hand because it makes all the difference. I used this one. I also added an extra teaspoon or so of fresh dill right at the end, so it stood above all the other flavours.

Yes, Ina would be proud.

Speaking of Ina (aka the famed Barefoot Contessa), I have added a link to Ina’s insider Guide to Paris on my Paris page, which I plan to finally get working on. If you are going anytime soon, you will want her list (save the hotel she recommends, which is about 800 euros per night).